Friday, May 20, 2011

Mannequin Family



I grew up in the 1960's and can remember the cold war very well. It was a scary time, where the threat of global thermonuclear Holocaust hung over our heads. This was a frightening time to grow up. I remember pictures like the one above. At the Nevada Test Sight the government built houses and even small communities. They would put mannequins in the houses, posed as everyday families. They would then set off a nuclear bomb, and then go in and study the damage to the house and family. I find the picture very creepy. 

20 comments:

  1. ur right, it creeps me out too :P

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  2. This looks like a twighlight zone episode.weird

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  3. Yup, thats creepy alright. Even the painting or photo on the far wall is creeping me out. They must of taken "after the blast" pictures too. I'm not too sure I want to see those though.

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  4. Nah. This looks more like a great episode of Twilight Zone.

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  5. Be thankful they only used mannequins! And yep, it does look creepy - but would it have done if we hadn't known what it was for, I wonder?

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  6. Woah! I never knew about this project. I was living in Oregon at the time. The local dairy distributed milk cartons filled with water in case of an attack. Later, on a driving trip to Oklahoma, my dad was able to use the water cartons to rescue us when our 57 Chevy overheated in the Nevada desert. So my memory of the Cuban missle crisis is somewhat positive.

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  7. Thanks for this series. I've been using both last week's and this week's pix to talk to my girls about what it was like growing up in those times. Now they know why I call them "air raid" sirens instead of "tornado" sirens.

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  8. Creepy for sure ! Scary to see the actual footage of what happens to this 'typical' family during the blast. I remember how frightening those times were and how naive/uninformed we all were , too. Thanks for the reminder . Chilling week for me .

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  9. What a wonderful 2 weeks of pictures, PJM. They have brought many memories back...some good a few bad. These tests were the keyway for us to understand and design weapons that were more effective. And boy, did they ever create the smallest most potent weapons ever seen. And, as has been pointed out, a great number of nuclear weapons are only a few hours away from loading and delivery anywhere in the world.

    A truely scary thought.....

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  10. It is "weird" to me that so many people find this weird! To me it is history. You know, --- back when I was a kid we ----- (fill in the blanks.)

    It's obvious that this stuff just isn't talked about or shown anymore.

    After the tests, these mannequins and furniture were displayed on Fremont St. in downtown Las Vegas for us all to see and touch.

    This is an interesting article with MANY photos, including of the houses:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2011/05/when-we-tested-nuclear-bombs/100061/

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  11. The point of the mock families in their fake communities was that they wanted to know what they were looking at should one of those bombs go off in their own communities, I guess.

    It is history. That's why some people aren't scared of it. The possibility hasn't gone away, though, and neither should our respect. I suppose a horrible ordeal and likely death by contracting the ebola virus isn't scary if you think it isn't likely to happen to you, either, but proximity changes matters.

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  12. Footage of nuclear test blasting set to 1812 Overture, inclusive of mannequins at YouTube.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fo48YpNOesQ

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  13. Early residents of the Uncanny Valley.

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  14. I'm 51, so I grew up in th 60's as well. I remember seeing this film in grade school, "Duck and Cover". Hysterical and creepy at the same time: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKqXu-5jw60

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  15. What an intriguing picture. I'm wondering what they are saying to each other (yes I know they are dolls). Nice day for a walk? Did you remember to insure the house?

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  16. I came in in the 30s and have lived through nothing but war my whole life. During the 50s and
    60s and 70s I would look at my children and try not to think about what if. It would get too much at times and I was not very nice. We tried to let them live life to the fullest because we could see no tomorrow. It was live for today for tomorrow we die. Thank goodness they have turned out mostly OK, but this generation also produced the ME FIRST generation of politicians that are destroying this countary. They will sell out their familys and country to the highest bidder and have absoutly no thought of right or wrong.

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  17. My Dad was born in the mid 20's. Grew up in the Depression in NYC. He served in WW2 Pacific theater of operations, infantry. Yet he never considered himself a victim. His recollections of the past are rather upbeat. He and my Mom (still married) instilled in me a strong sense of right and wrong. It's sad to see his waining years are troubled as he says (rightly so) that our nation and society has lost it's way. I think he misses most the optimism and pride we used to have. I know I do.

    John

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  18. I'm siding with the creepy camp. There's something about manequins especially when they're posed in normal life situations, that I find unsettling.

    There's a mining museum in Butte, Montana with a hospital for one of the exhibits. Those are some creepy manequins. One of them is missing an arm. Great set for a horror movie.

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  19. Based on the photos in Rebecca's link, I would say the place to be when the big one drops is in the corner of the living room. That one fellow hardly budged while the poor girl sitting by the window was cut off at the hips, and the others are simply gone altogether!

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